We've all been told about the importance of relaxation during times of stress. But how you relax determines how well you reduce the effect stress has on your body.
With the holiday season upon us (and the stresses that inevitably come with it), it's important to fight stress by activating the body's natural relaxation response. Here are some ways to do just that.
Producing The Relaxation Response
There is a variety of relaxation techniques that can eliminate stress. The basics of these techniques aren't hard to learn and become easier the more you practice. Experts suggest setting aside 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice but 30 minutes to an hour each day will provide further stress relief. Don't be discouraged if your practice has its ups and downs.
Tips For Relieving Stress
Exercise is, of course, a great way to relieve stress but you can enhance its stress-fighting effects by focusing attention on your breath as you exercise. For example, during weight training coordinate your breathing with your movements and pay attention to how your body feels.
What else can you do?
- Focus on your breathing; it might help to have a calming aromatic nearby while exercising
- Visualize a scene that makes you feel peaceful
- Focus on the present moment, not on the future or something that happened in the past
- Listen to music that calms you
Deep Breathing Meditation
Deep breathing meditation is easy to learn and can be practiced almost anywhere. The key is to breathe from the abdomen rather than taking shallow breaths from your chest.
Physical activity or exercise that involves both your arms and legs — such as swimming, running, and dancing — is the type of rhythmic activity that is most effective at relieving stress. Perform these exercises mindfully while staying in the present moment.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique in which you tense and relax different muscle groups in a specific order, starting with your feet.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness meditation but the goal is to achieve an alert state of focused relaxation. One method is to focus on the natural movements of your breathing.
Yoga And Tai Chi
Yoga not only increases flexibility, strength, and balance but also reduces anxiety and stress. Tai chi is a series of slow, flowing body movements with similar results to yoga.
Stress management is an important health factor to consider not just at the holiday season, but year round as well. Matrix Age Management in Amarillo provides a proactive program — including stress management — that halts the downward spiral of aging and brings patients back to a pinnacle of health.